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Nikon D300 Commander Mode

Shay Browning , Jan 24, 2008; 12:58 p.m.

Ok I have the built in flash set to -- Which states in the manual that the built in flash will not fire, but it does fire so what the heck am I doing wrong?


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zippy doda , Jan 24, 2008; 01:04 p.m.

You may be seeing the preflashes and flash it uses to controll you remote.

Matt Laur , Jan 24, 2008; 01:19 p.m.

Right. It has to fire in order to communicate with the other devices. But even during the exposure itself, you will see a tiny amount of light emitted from the built-in strobe. If your off-camera flash and the ambient light are set up right, that part should be essentially meaningless. No question, though - the pretty-shutter-release chatter going on can be a little surprising. It can also make people blink... so some people go with some sort of filtering material (like and old blacked-out negative strip) or the actual Nikon shoe-mounted IR filter, which dangles down in front of the pop-up strobe so that the visible part of that pulse doesn't annoy quite so much. It's the non-visible, infrared part of the pulse that's actually doing the work.

Shay Browning , Jan 24, 2008; 01:31 p.m.

Ahhh. I see. I wish they would make that a little more clear in the manual " -- The built in flash does not fire,but the AF-assist illuminator lights. The built-in flash must be raised so that it can emit monitor pre-flashes" But I am getting a rather bright looking flash from the built-in flash. Are you saying I can cover up the flash and still get my remotes to work?

Matt Laur , Jan 24, 2008; 01:57 p.m.

Not cover it, per se. Just put something in front of it that will still allow the infrared part of the spectrum to go through it. I mentioned the old blacked-out film negative as an option since most people have a bit around to play with. Or, you can pay the $12 or so for a Nikon's SG-3IR, which is built for that very purpose.

Shay Browning , Jan 24, 2008; 02:25 p.m.

Thank you Matt. SG-3IR looks good. I wonder if speaker fabric would work?

Frank Skomial , Jan 24, 2008; 02:31 p.m.

The second best solution was already given and it is use of SG-3IR filter.

First best solution is to use SU-800 as commander.

There is also worst solution, to use external flash as FP, and built-in flash as FP commander in CLS mode. You must set internal flash control mode to FP, use shutter speed faster than the max sync for this to work, e.g. 1/400. The built-in flash will issue commanding start light blast to inititaie externel remote flash FP sequence of stroboscopic flashes, well before the shutter opens. That is, the built-in flash as a commander to FP flash in CLS, will not issue any light when the shutter is open.

The AF assist light is produced well before focus is achieved, and before the shutter is open, so it has no lighting effect on your pictures.

Michael Houghton , Jan 24, 2008; 02:45 p.m.

'More clear in the manual' is to 'Nikon' as 'on a stick' is to 'moon'. Bless their hearts.

Lee Weiner , Jan 24, 2008; 04:16 p.m.

Yeah I recently did some portraits with the D200 and commander mode. I used the film over the pop up technique, but I had major blinking issues with a couple people. In turn, I am buying an SU-800.

One other thing, even when setting the pop up flash to "--" it still winds up slightly contributing to the exposure in most cases, which is quite annoying. By using the SU-800, SG-3IR or the cheapo exposed film technique you will rid yourself of that as well.

Shay Browning , Jan 24, 2008; 04:50 p.m.

Yes that SU-800 looks really good. I think that first line in the manual(p.94) for the -- description "The built in flash does not fire" caused me to be confused. It clearly says does not fire but goes on to say "emit monitor pre-flashes" so it does fire. But hearing from you good folks I see that what they are saying is that it dosen't fire when the sutter is open. Is that the correct assessment?

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